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All vehicles using the highway will need to have a SunPass Mini or transponder, or be willing to have the state bill the driver monthly under the "Toll By Plate" program, which adds a $2.50 fee to the toll.

The Florida Department of Transportation is making the change as part of its $380 million project to widen the expressway by adding two more lanes in each direction.

Agency spokesperson Christa Deason is concerned about drivers from outside the area who might not understand that they must keep driving through the tolls even if they do not have a SunPass. They will be automatically billed under the monthly program.

"I am worried about drivers stopping and looking around for where to put the toll money," Deason said. "This will keep all traffic moving at the same speed, so you will avoid the stopping lines, and the congestion."

She said south Florida has seen a 70 percent reduction in crashes at toll plazas that have changed to the electronic lanes.

"Almost 79 to 85 percent of veterans expressway drivers already use the SunPass," Deason said.

Motorists on the Veterans Expressway are in for a big change at 9 p.m. today: No more cash tolls. WTSP

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